Online Public Domain Libraries for MusicXML and MIDI Scores
The first place to start when searching for a specific piece is Google – simply search for the title of the piece, followed by the name of the desired format (for example, “String Quartet No.3 Op.18 No.3 by Beethoven, Ludwig Van MusicXML”). In cases where the Google search was not successful, or you are not looking for a specific piece but would rather browse a catalog of online pieces, we have hand-picked our favorite online libraries to help our readers with their practice.
Musicalion offers close to 40,000 compositions by 2,500 composers, of which more than 19,000 are available in MusicXML – and their database keeps growing. Compositions are available in a mix of PDF, MusicXML, MIDI, and original source formats.
The annual subscription – which costs $35.81 (29,487 registered users to date) – allows users to download notes at no additional costs, reproduce them for their own ensemble and use them during performances. Composers should make sure to check out The Carl Orff Competition, which has become an essential part of this platform.
The platform boasts more than 17,500 scores, all available for download in MusicXML, MIDI, MP3, PDF and MuseScore native format. In order to download pieces users must create a free profile, which will also allow them to upload up to five original pieces. For users wishing to upload more than five original pieces, MuseScore has a PRO subscription at $49 per year.
This online platform is very useful for all music professionals and amateurs – musicologists, publishers, music teachers and students alike. Even experienced composers producing their own medleys, and first-time arrangers making copies to share with friends will find relevant content. In addition, the unlocked open data provides endless resources for smart adaptations for blind and partially-sighted users, gamers, developers and visual artist.
Although the library is still in its infancy and has very few pieces (eight, as of today), we predict a bright future for this creative project. Downloads are available in MuseScore, MusicXML, PDF, MIDI, MP3 and Braille formats.
The Mutopia Project
The database was created by a team of volunteers who type-set the music using the LilyPond software. Mutopia offers over 2,098 music scores in PDF, MIDI, and editable LilyPond file formats.
The Choral Public Domain Library
CPDL boasts at least 27,872 choral and vocal works by more than 2,932 composers. Scores are available in PDF, MIDI and MusicXML formats, and often include text, lyrics, translations and information about the composer.
This music library offers more than 19,300 MIDI and PDF files from classical composers. Users are allowed to download five free files per day, and can upgrade to a “lifetime subscription” costing $24.70 for unlimited downloads.